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CFE Talks Fail To Reach Breakthrough

The CFE meeting opened on June 12 in Vienna (OSCE) June 13, 2007 -- A second day of talks in Vienna between Russia and NATO on the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty has failed to reach a breakthrough.

Russia requested the four-day meeting of the 30 signatory states of the CFE conference in May, after President Vladimir Putin suspended Moscow's participation in the pact.

The treaty, first signed in 1990, sets
limits on the number of military aircraft, tanks, and other nonnuclear
heavy weaponry that can be deployed between the Atlantic Ocean and the
Ural Mountains.

In 1999, the treaty was amended after countries in Central and Eastern Europe joined NATO.

the United States and other NATO members have refused to ratify the
amended version of the treaty, saying Russia must first withdraw troops
from Moldova and Georgia.

Russia's desire to update the treaty reflects Moscow's growing anxiety about what it sees as a buildup of U.S. forces in Europe.

First Russia's former Warsaw Pact allies joined NATO, then the United States started talking about putting military bases in Romania and Bulgaria.

Russia's latest objection is to U.S. plans to base parts of an antimissile system in Central Europe, saying it upsets the security balance. The United States says the shield is intended to counter "rogue" threats.

(AP, Reuters)

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U.S. President George W. Bush (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G8 summit in Germany on June 7 (AFP)

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